Too often we find authors who finish that first book and immediately start shipping it out to editors and agents to get it published. They typed the words THE END on that last page of their novel and they are ready! Unfortunately, all too often, these writers just don't know enough about the business yet. In some cases, they have accidentally written this fantastic novel and an editor or agent loves the project. Now they are faced with being a professional writer before they are really mentally ready.
I always try to talk here on the blog about taking your time with your craft. The world of publishing will be around for a long time so don't rush it. I want to encourage you during this holiday season to take the time to learn the business. Figure things out. All of those editors and agents will likely be on breaks so use this time. Consider the following:
- How long does it take for a standard editorial process within a publishing house?
- What do editors really do?
- What do agents do?
- How do contracts work?
- What is the author's role in marketing and publicity?
- What are all of those nasty little phrases in contracts?
- What are the differences between the different types of publishing platforms?
In reality, if you don't understand how the business of publishing really works, the odds are you may find yourself in a real bind with contracts, rejection letters and so forth. We really don't want to see that happen.